Thursday, 9 April 2009

Back to the past: Washing a woolen sweater

I found this in one of my magazines (my mother bought it in mid 70's).
I doubt you will learn anything new from this but, since we don't get to see pictures such as these a lot (if at all!) any more, I decided to share it with you!

We all want our hand-knit garments to stay fresh and to keep their shape and colours for as long as possible. In order to achieve that, we need to know how to wash them properly! In order  to provide the best care for your woollen garments, simply follow our instructions!
1. Fill a basin with warm water . The temperature should never be greater than 40°C. If you're washing a multi coloured or striped sweater, it is always safer to wash it in cold water.
Use special wool liquid detergents or, if you haven't got any, add a drop of shampoo or dish-washing liquid into the water (very smart!!!! no soaps- they open up the wool scales! )
2.Place your sweater in the basin. Gently push it down allowing the water to penetrate into the fabric. Do not knead, wring or twist the garment while washing it. Likewise, do never rub the detergent into it. Let it soak for 10-15 min.
3. Rinse the sweater with clean, luke-warm water . Gently remove the garment from the basin, pour out the water, pour clean warm water into it again and place the garment back into the basin. Repeat several times, until all the detergent bubbles are gone. Avoid flushing your sweater with running water.
4. Add some fresh lemon juice or a table spoon of white vinegar into the last rinse; the wool will then be elastic and shiny (smart again- vinegar helps the wool to regain its natural PH and closes the scales)
5. Place the sweater in a colander (I love this idea!!!) and let it drain for a while. (Never squeeze the excess water out. ) Then lay it out  on a flat surface covered with a terry towel and adjust the shape! (Look at the cat!!!)
That's it!!!
Now, don't you just love that flower print on her shirt?!


  1. The colander idea is just excellent! And the cat is hilarious, really adds a whole new (unnecessary?) story to the pictures.

    BTW, didn't know wool had scales!

  2. Nekada sam džempere prala ručno, a sada ni u ludilu! Čak ni pored ovako simpatičnog uputstva!

  3. I really need to get myself a cat. Obviously that's the most important part of the instructions!

  4. Hi,

    I have just found you - from Ravelry, of course! - and will soon be back again! It's really a very nice, interesting, lovely, fun blog you have!

    Happy Easter!

  5. @ misha

    Yes, just like human hair, sheep hair i.e. wool has got scales. it's actually the scales that catch on each other during the process of felting or fulling causing thw wool ar a woolen agrmet to achieve that recognisable "felted" look. Soap and water encourage the scales to open up during washing which increases the possibility of fulling/felting effect to hapen. Since we can't avoid water :))) , we should try avoiding soaps and abrasion (rubbing, twisting etc.) if we don't wnt the fabric to change. I'll write more about it in one of my next posts.

    @bensedin art

    ja ih u mašinu ne bih stavila pa da su od plastike. Kofa i deterdŽenAt još rade taj posao kod mene. :))))


    Now, isn't that cat the main charater here? :))))

  6. Thank you, lenaL, glad you stopped by! ;-)

  7. The cat rulz! :) I always have doubts about washing my knitted garments - should I do it by hand or should I just put them in the washing machine... In the end I stick to washing by hand... You never know ;)

  8. Ovo znaci da potrosis mnogo mnogo mnogo vode... u ova vremena, to ekoloski nije dobra ideja.

  9. pa, koja je ekološka ideja za pranje veša (osim ispiranja)? :)))))


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